An official report of the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad held in Baku

Professor Nargiz Pashayeva
Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University

Dear Rector Pashayeva:

This is an official report to you on the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad held in Baku,
Azerbaijan from July 20 through 29. On behalf of the entire participants of the 47th IChO, I am
pleased to tell you that the Baku Olympiad was the BEST in the 47 years of IChO history, both in competitions and in organization. We all enjoyed the beauty, history, and culture of Azerbaijan, and wonderful generosity and hospitality as much as possible, not only of our Organizer but also of the entire people of Azerbaijan.

First of all, I would like to point out that the theme of the Baku Olympiad, ‘Life is a Huge
(Chemistry) Laboratory’, was striking for many of us for it gives us an entirely new perspective on Chemistry. We often limit ourselves by emphasizing the importance of chemistry in modern science and the utilities of chemistry in industrial application and everyday lives. We rarely think of Chemistry in the philosophical context. Your opening address was extremely successful in laying out clearly to all of us what you have thought of Chemistry. You gave us a specially important wider insight into Chemistry which all of us care so much.

The competitions were fair and challenging enough for those talented students. I am pleased to tellyou once more that there has been absolutely no indication of any irregularities in the
competition. Of course, there are complaints on the level of difficulties of the competition tasks.
Naturally there are mentors and students who prefer much easier tasks in order to encourage the
participating students. But the IChO is a competition not for ordinary students on streets but for
extraordinary students with special interest and talented in Chemistry. Nevertheless the Baku
Olympiad gave us a chance for us to think about the new way of stimulating the participating
students with more creative competition tasks.

To tell you the truth, the success of the Baku IChO is far beyond anyone’s expectation. Frankly
speaking, I felt a bit uneasy about coming to Baku, a place really unfamiliar to many of us. I
began to realize that we have a chance after I visited Baku in January for our Steering Committee.We came to the conclusion that we can take advantage of your strong intention to make this event agreat success combined with the rich experiences of Moscow Science Committee  on  whom  we  have  a full  confidence.  Indeed,  the  local  organization  was  just wonderful, the operation was indeed flawless, and environment of competitions was excellent. I am most pleased to see all of our 292 participating students, not to mention the 237 mentors,observers, and guests, have really enjoyed their stay in Baku, probably for the first and last time in their lives. I am confident that all the students and mentors will keep the sweet memory on Baku for long time to come. Indeed, you are entitled to be joyful because all of us were have in Baku.

Now, I believe we have left a lot of messes in Baku to be cleaned up by you and your people.
Nevertheless I would like to request to you to take care of a few people who have been so crucial
for the success of the Baku festival. Of course, Oktai and Azad were wonderful masters of festival. Although I did not have enough chances to see their work, I was able to see them clearly in control of everything in progress.

But I would like to request to you, with due respect, that you pay special attention to Igrar, who
have been really good friend of ours ever since he joined us in 2008 as a replacement of the old
one. He has been sincere, honest, and hard-working man with integrity. Without our confidence on him, we would not have imagined to have an IChO in Baku from the beginning. In addition, as you may well know already, the Practical Competition here in Baku would not have been possible without his active participation in very long and complicated preparation. I understand that he has always been the crucial person who provided all the necessary environment and support for those scientific committee members from Moscow and elsewhere. As Chair of IChO, I would like to strongly recommend to you to recognize his contribution for the success of the 47th IChO at the highest level. I would also like to mention that Mamad did far beyond our expectation as the General Director of the 47th IChO. He was fluent in English, decisive and clear in his decision, and most of all, he clearly understands what is going on all the time. I believe he is the one who has been determined to make the Baku Olympiad a success. I have never seen anyone like him, so dedicated and royal to the Organization he belongs to. I am sure he deserves highest recognition from you on his contribution.

I should also tell you about Lala at the IChO Office. I know, as an Organizer of IChO-2006, how
difficult it is to deal with this much diverse group of self-concentrated people from so many
different countries. We also have hung language barrier for smooth communication. Up until the
beginning of the opening, I had numerous conversations with her through e-mail and telephone,
mostly with rather difficult issues on hand. Lala has been evidently very efficient and

Of course, we must be grateful to those people from Moscow, including Professor Valery Lunin and his troop headed by Vadim Eremin and Alexander Gladilin, who have been so dedicated and
hard-working for preparing wonderful competition tasks. I understand that, without their
contribution, the Baku Olympiad would have not been possible at all.

Most of all, you, Rector Pashayeva, are the one who deserves the highest recognition from everyone who participated in the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad. As I told you in my closing address, you have been the best Organizer we experienced. You must have extremely strong will and professional ability to make our Olympiad a great success. Personally, I got to respect and admire you not only as the Organizer but also as Rector of the Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University. You must be the best of all as an administrator and a scholar in Azerbaijan.

I am also glad to tell you that we were able to find the host for the 48th IChO in 2016, here in
Baku. As you may remember, there was little hope for us to find a host for next year. But at the
last moment, in the morning of the Closing Ceremony, we received a very strong proposal from the Government of Pakistan. It was really the icing on the cake to make the success of our Baku IChO even more exciting.

I now tell you that you deserve a good deal of rest after making the big event like IChO- 2015 a
huge success. It has been a great pleasure and honor for me to have a chance to work with you. And of course, I wish you all the best and happiness in your family.

Sincerely yours, 

Duckhwan Lee, Ph.D. Chair
Steering Committee of IChO

Professor of Chemistry and Science Communication Sogang University
Seoul, Korea